Queer Gamers Seize Controller

 
 

Queer gamers have made a name for themselves by forming
groups in popular Massive Multiplayer Online games (MMOs) such as World of Warcraft and City of Heroes and by creating content
using existing games (such as the “Gay
Marriage level
” built in LittleBigPlanet)
that speaks directly to the queer experience.

“In The Sims
franchise, people have the option of playing who they want to play,” Whitelaw
noted, touching upon one of the longest-running communities of lesbian gamers
around Sims players.

There are “skins” available that allow fans to create
characters out about every fandom with a strong lesbian following — including Buffy the Vampire Slayer, The L Word, Star Trek Voyager and Xena, allowing players to create their
own fantasy storylines with famous lesbian characters — or to make up their own
entirely.

(Check out AfterEllen contributing writer Sharon Hadrian’s
excellent Welcome to
the (Lesbian) Dollhouse
for a primer.)

The ladies of LG are certainly the most visible force
working towards a better virtual world for queer women. “Gaming should be about
living in reality while escaping it at the same time — give people more choice and
let their minds run wild,” said Whitelaw, when asked what a better tomorrow
should look like. “That’s what makes a great game, and choosing your sexual
orientation in a game rather than being forced into a heterosexual relationship
(should there be this element) should be a thing of the past.”

She also called out the need for a stronger female presence
in the industry, not only on development teams, but in terms of better,
stronger representation. “We need female characters who are strong and can play
the lead roles just as the butch, masculine male characters currently do.”

Video games are still an evolving media form, and their roots
as a dorky boy’s hobby still haven’t completely disappeared. But if lesbian
gamers can unite and get their voices heard across the world, we’re on the path
to a much more appealing variety of choices when we choose to game.

Watch Tracy and Angela discuss and review the latest games each Tuesday in their video blog Gay Girls Who Game, read the
latest gaming news
on the blog every Friday, and visit LesbianGamers.com.

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